Johnson Leads Effort to Provide Pricing Leverage to Cattle Producers

Johnson Leads Effort to Provide Pricing Leverage to Cattle Producers

Washington, D.C. – Today, Ranking Member of the Livestock & Foreign Agriculture Subcommittee Dusty Johnson (R-S.D) and Representative Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28) introduced the bipartisan Cattle Contract Library Act of 2021 (H.R. 5609), which would create a library for cattle contracts within the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Agriculture Marketing Service Department. Currently, cattlemen are unaware of contract terms being offered by packers, leading to a decline in leverage for smaller producers during price negotiations.

Currently, USDA maintains a pork contract library, and following significant volatility in the cattle market and the release of the July 2020 Boxed Beef & Fed Cattle Price Spread Investigation Report, the creation of a library was recommended by experts and stakeholders. In response to this investigation, Johnson introduced sweeping cattle reform legislation to provide more transparency in the market, including the creation of a contract library.

“Producers have been asking for increased transparency and leverage in the cattle market for years, the Cattle Contract Library Act will provide granular data in near real time, ensuring producers understand the value of marketing agreements,” said Johnson. “Data drives marketing decisions and a contract library will provide much-needed leverage for independent producers.”

“Throughout my time in Congress, I have worked hard to ensure the success of the agriculture industry—one that is a critical facet of our nation’s economy. The bipartisan Cattle Contract Library Act will further this agenda through the creation of a contract library that will provide cost transparency in the cattle market,” said Cuellar. “We must support all of our cattle businesses, including our small producers, who are indispensable for our country’s food supply chain. I thank Rep. Johnson for his leadership on this critical legislation for Texas farmers, ranchers, and the agriculture industry as a whole.”

Johnson has been a leader on cattle market reform since 2019 and has worked to secure a number of legislative priorities for producers. In July, USDA implemented two of Johnson’s bills aimed at increasing capacity space for small producers and curbing steep overtime fees small processing facilities incurred during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“After months of record-breaking drought and volatile markets, ranchers in South Dakota and across the country are struggling to get by. We need to act,” said National Cattleman’s Beef Association Vice President and South Dakota Rancher Todd Wilkinson. “As we heard during the recent hearing in the House Agriculture Committee, the cattle contract library is a popular and necessary element of the broader push to bring relief to cattle producers. It would equip our producers with the data they need to make competitive marketing decisions and exert leverage in negotiations with the packers, and it would also serve as an oversight tool. NCBA thanks Congressman Johnson and Congressman Cuellar for their urgent efforts to stand up for ranchers and bring greater transparency to the beef supply chain.”

“The U.S. Cattlemen’s Association would like to thank Rep. Dusty Johnson and his team for continuing to push forward with meaningful changes to the Livestock Mandatory Reporting (LMR) program that will increase transparency in the cattle marketplace,” said U.S. Cattlemen’s Association Vice President Justin Tupper. “A cattle contract library is sorely needed, and this bill is one step closer to bringing that concept to fruition.”

“Market transparency is a critical component of price discovery in cattle marketing. As the industry has evolved, most sales are now taking place through alternative market agreements,” said South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association President Eric Jennings. “We need a contract library to create transparency in those agreements to achieve better price discovery in the live cattle market. The South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association has been advocating for a contract library and we applaud and thank Representative Johnson for putting forth the legislation to fill this need.”

“In meetings with ranchers and feeders across the state, there is agreement that we need cattle market transparency, including reporting details of all cattle marketing arrangements,” said South Dakota Farm Bureau President Scott VanderWal. “The Cattle Contract Library is common sense and I hope we can get it quickly moved out of committee and passed in the House.”

The Cattle Contract Library Act is cosponsored by Reps. Tracey Mann (R-KS-01), Frank Lucas (R-OK-03), Rick Allen (R-GA-12), Ashley Hinson (R-IA-01), Kelly Armstrong (N.D.-AL), Jason Smith (R-MO-08), Trent Kelly (R-MS-01), Michelle Fischbach (R-MN-07), Angie Craig (D-MN-02), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA-02), Jim Hagedorn (R-MN-01), David Rouzer (R-NC-07), Vicky Hartzler (R-MO-04), Adrian Smith (R-NE-3), Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07), and Darren Soto (R-FL-09).

The Cattle Contract Library Act of 2021 is supported by the American Farm Bureau Federation, National, Cattlemen’s Beef Association, U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, National Farmers Union, Livestock Marketing Association, SD Cattlemen’s Association, South Dakota Farm Bureau, and the South Dakota Farmers Union.

Read the full bill here and the one-pager here.


Anti-vaccination group calling for rally at State Capitol during special session

A group that testified in favor of a bill in 2020 to make it a criminal offense to mandate teachers be vaccinated against measles and smallpox is coming back to Pierre during the special session for a rally to oppose the federal government mandating anti-COVID vaccinations for large employers and those doing business with the federal government.

Anti-vaxxer group “Health Freedom South Dakota,” who most recently held protests across the street from Sanford Hospital in September has announced a rally to be held at the State Capitol on November 8th.

In checking with the State of South Dakota, no rally or event of this nature has been registered to take place on state property as of earlier this week, so they may be holding their rally on the sidewalk in front of the building.

The group had previously advocated for a special session to be called to consider legislation proposed by several House members, however, Governor Kristi Noem had rejected convening the legislature for that purpose, as well as opposing such legislation.

Governor Noem has expressed her opposition to mandates from the federal government, and has taken the position that it is similarly not the duty of State Government to interfere in the employer/employee relationship to tell businesses what they can and cannot require of employees when it comes to vaccinations.

State Rep. Phil Jensen outed by Rolling Stone as alleged member of anti-gov’t Oath Keeper group.

Rolling Stone magazine just dropped an article which pointed out State Representative Phil Jensen appears to be a member of the anti-government Oath Keepers group, and he may have used his legislative e-mail to sign up for participation in the organization.

In light of this controversy, the Rapid City newspaper ran a headline touting Jensen as “South Dakota’s most conservative lawmaker.” That same year, it appears, Jensen added another appellation to his political resume: Oath Keeper.

The Oath Keepers are an extremist militia group that challenges the authority of the federal government. The organization asks its members to swear to a 10-point oath, steeped in conspiratorial thinking, insisting they’ll stand up against government tyranny that the group imagines is fast approaching.


The vast majority of alleged Oath Keepers in these rolls signed up with private emails and without any details that would readily identify their employers. The record for Jensen is markedly different. It lists a state legislative email address, and his name appears with his honorific at the time, “Senator Phil Jensen.” (Jensen has served in both chambers of the state legislature; he is currently representative of District 33, which includes part of Rapid City.) The record appears to show that Jensen signed up for an annual membership in 2014; the database does not indicate his current membership status.

Read it here.

According to Wikipedia

Oath Keepers were present wearing military fatigues during the 2014 and 2015 unrest in Ferguson, Missouri when members armed with semi-automatic rifles roamed streets and rooftops. Many members of the group participated in the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. By September 2021, twenty members had been indicted for federal criminal offenses, with four pleading guilty.

Glad Phil can provide Oath Keeper representation in the South Dakota State Legislature.

(That was sarcasm. Jesus Christ. Why do people in District 33 keep electing him?)

Governor Noem orders Flags at Half-Staff in Honor of General Colin Powell

Flags at Half-Staff in Honor of General Colin Powell

PIERRE, S.D. – Governor Kristi Noem has ordered that flags be flown at half-staff statewide, effective immediately until sundown on Saturday, October 22, in honor the life and legacy of General Colin Powell. This is in accordance with a presidential proclamation from President Joseph R. Biden, which can be found here.


Legislative leaders spar over paying Speaker Gosch’s legal bill to defend denying information on impeachment vote

Looks like legislative leadership disagrees on whether taxpayers should bear the cost of defending Speaker Gosch’s refusal to release how House Members voted in convening a special session for impeachment.

Senate President Pro Tempore Lee Schoenbeck who released the Senate’s vote is saying no, Gosch can pay it himself, and Speaker Gosch disagrees, saying that it was an official duty, where taxpayers can cover the cost of defending him:

Schoenbeck, who had released the names of senators who petitioned for the session, emailed fellow legislators last week to press for a meeting of the Legislature’s executive committee if Gosch intended to involve the Legislature in the legal battle.

“There is no legal basis for the Speaker’s actions and I will not support any expenditure of taxpayer funds on this behavior,” he wrote in the email obtained by The Associated Press.

Gosch replied by asserting that he was acting in his official capacity as speaker when he made the decision not to release the names and he expected the attorney general to represent him if the state Supreme Court considers the lawsuit.

Read it here.

A few people mass spamming legislators to demand election audit… even with no evidence of fraud in state

Had a legislator share this constituent spam that’s being blasted to all legislators, no matter whether they represent the South Dakotans who sent it or not.

Not to mention the fact there’s no evidence of election fraud in South Dakota, but they’re demanding an audit anyway:

I usually delete these types of email as quickly as they come in, but prior to deleting this one I thought you might be interested to see legislators have been receiving pressure to “sign the list.” I’ve received three or four similar requests.

From: [Redacted]
Sent: Monday, October 18, 2021 12:58 AM

Subject: [EXT]: FW: Demand a Full Forensic Audit of SD 2020 Election

We are highly disappointed in the government entities across South Dakota, as well as across the country.  In August, we sent the email below demanding a full forensic audit of the 2020 election to all 105 SD Legislative Representatives, as well as our Governor, Secretary of State, Senator Thune, Senator Rounds, and House of Representative Dusty Johnson, amongst others.  Ironically, of all these emails, only three individuals responded (Steven Haugarrd, Julie Frye-Mueller, and Taffy Howard).  It is highly disappointing that we did not even receive a response from our own representatives – Josh Klumb, Lance Koth or Paul Miskimins.

It is obvious that there was fraudulent activity in the 2020 Presidential election, and it is apparent that the bulk of our legislative representatives are turning a blind eye and choosing not to execute their job in accordance with the oath they took.  Attached is a document signed by many state legislators across the nation exercising their power in accordance with the U.S. Constitution ensuring oversight of the Presidential election.  The letter is requesting all states decertify their electoral votes where they were certified prematurely and inaccurately.  Only two SD State Legislators, Julie Frye-Mueller and Taffy Howard, have signed this document.  We would have expected the majority of our legislators to have signed the document.  The more important question is why did you not sign it?  There are numerous allegations in the news that raise concerns regarding the integrity of the 2020 Presidential election, as well as accusations of a pattern of fraud in the five swing states.  In SD, we need to audit our election process to ensure every legal vote is counted and ensure that we don’t have problems with vote discrepancies because of ballots being cast for deceased people, those who have moved out of the state, votes of illegal aliens and criminals (who don’t have the right to vote), absentee ballots, as well as votes by those not properly registered.  Conducting an audit in every state is a win-win, if the election outcome based on legal votes does not change it restores the faith of the election process.  If the audit produces different results, and we rectify any fraudulent activity, then it restores integrity of the process for future elections.

Remember your job is to represent the citizens of SD and what is best for our state, not your own personal or political agenda, or one that is contrary to best interest of We the People!  We ask that you look deep into your heart, step-up and support a full forensic audit in SD and in all states.


cc:   Stand for Freedom

Why on earth do these election conspiracists think we need “to audit our election process to ensure every legal vote is counted and ensure that we don’t have problems with vote discrepancies?” We have paper ballots, and then after the vote, the state canvasses the election to verify the accuracy and cross-checks against screw ups.

The county auditors do a pretty good job, and as the state’s chief elections officer, the Secretary of State also keeps the process on the up and up.

This is all just silliness at this point.


Colin Powell passes away from COVID

From the Hill, former Secretary of State Colin Powell has died from COVID 19:

“General Colin L. Powell, former U.S. Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, passed away this morning due to complications from Covid 19. He was fully vaccinated. We want to thank the medical staff at Walter Reed National Medical Center for their caring treatment,” the Powell family said in a statement posted to Facebook.

Read that here